12/28 - The last month was hectic at work and I didn't get much done on the project.  However, I am now on xmas vacation and working on some models (see pics below - Air Force One is complete, I'm still working on the stretch limo).  I also threw in some low res screen grabs from a month or 2 ago.  If you download the pics they will be larger.  I sure wish I could find a good conversion program.  I've found a number of scenes and props on the Internet for reasonable prices (less than $20) but they are never in a program I know how to use.  I've tried a couple converters but they just don't work.  One guy said he was going to try and fix his program within a month or two.  If I could get that to work, progress would be much improved.


11/11 - Progress remains slow but steady.  John (from Space Specks) is helping out and he is good!  He already made a great Taj Mahal (which will be Fouod's Palace in the desert, see below) and he is currently working on the Oval Office.  My job continues to be very demanding so I can only put in a few hours a night.  Unfortunately, it looks like it will continue until Summer of 07.  The good news is that I finished re-learning my animation program and I'm ready to make some models!  I'm currently working on a 747 (Air Force One) and a Lincoln Town Car for a very short (5 sec) scene near the beginning.  I have been buying pre-made sets off of the Internet but I'm having great difficulty converting them to a program I know how to use.  One of the converter program author's said he will try to fix his program within about 2 months.  That would speed things up if it works.

9/12 - Progress is slow.  Last weekend I had to do yard work because I was in the Bahamas the week before and the yard was a mess when we got back.  I'm working on the cave scene and Secure Chamber scenes because they are interspersed with the fight scene.  I'm having problems with the Chamber, I'm just really slow at modeling (I have to read the manual to figure out how to do basic stuff).  I'm also trying to find more help by posting to a few animation web sites.  Hopefully, something will come of that.

9/6 - The Bahamas Suck. We just got back from 4 days in the Bahamas (family vacation) and I didn't like it at all. I will never go back.  My advice, save your money and go to some place better. I've heard good things about Cancun.  Disney World is always great.

8/25 - Things are coming along.  I have all of the pyramid scenes green screened.  I just need to put in the final backgrounds and add the magic effects.  I will make available for a short time, a sample of the scene I am working on.  Click here.  However, that link will not work at sometime in the future (I am constantly posting files to the actors and animators).

8/13 - I took a week's vacation to work on BG and made some very good progress.  I keyed almost all of the scenes in the battle scene (about 2 minutes worth of footage).  I am in the process of adding in the backgrounds that Thommy did, and adding in the magic effects.  Some samples are below, don't the backgrounds look awesome!!!


8/2 - I was rotoscoping the scenes but it was just taking too long.  I figured out how to apply two keys to the scene and the green screen keying is going quicker.  s153-160 has about 30 shots and I've keyed 4 of them.  However, this was using the old method so it should go quicker now.  After doing all the keying, I'll add all of the backgrounds and when I do that, I'll post most scenes like the one on 7/25.

7/25 - Thommy has finished the pyramid backgrounds and they look awesome!  See for yourself!  To the left is a long shot of the pyramid.  To the right is a sample of the first composited scene with magic and background.  Fouod, the evil genie is running in front of the pyramid, throwing bursts of magic at Aaron in the final battle scene.  Below the table is a frame from the raw footage.


7/9 - I spoke a little too soon.  Although DVGarage is indeed good, I'm having to rotoscope some scenes.  It's a lot of work and progress is slow.

7/4 - I have been working on the battle scene for the last month.  Thommy from Sweden (from the Space Specks team and the Producer of Astronaut) has offered to create and render backgrounds for those scenes!  I gladly accepted.  I created storyboards for him and I'm now in the process of green screening the raw footage.  In the process, I learned that I had some settings wrong when I rendered some scenes using After Effects.  Fortunately I saved all the project files so it is a relatively easy job to correct the setting and re-render.  It just takes time.  John (from the Space Specks team) has pointed me to a green screen keyer that is incredible!  DVMatte by DVGarage!  It has got to be the best I've seen to date.  I am now keying the battle scenes while Thommy is making the backgrounds.  Magic has to be last.  Should be done in a couple weeks if everything goes well.  This will be the first animated scene to be finished, but it is one of the tougher ones.

6/4 Part 2 - The final scenes were shot today and it was a huge success!  I would like to thank the actors and crew, everyone did a great job!  And thanks to Scott for recruiting so many Genies!  I was so busy I forgot to take still pictures so I will take some screen grabs and post them in a couple days.  I am working on the battle scene, but the background for that will probably take a few weeks.  I'm not sure which animation program to use but there will be a learning curve for all.

6/4/06 - The final scenes will be shot today (mostly bowing genies and two or three make-up shots).  After this, the only thing left are the effects and a little bit of magic (plus the sound editing which is always last.  My wife finally gets the garage back!!!  :-)  s164 took much longer than I planned - rotoscoping takes a long time!  Fortunately, I don't think I have to do any more.

5/7/06 - I've moved the status table to the Schedule section.  Finished shooting the limo scenes today.  Sam, our driver, was a great help and knew DC like the back of his hand!  The still pictures inside the limo didn't turn out very well, here are the best ones:


4/27/06 - Revised status table.

4/14/06 - Here is a better status table.  When every row in the right-most column has been checked, the editing is done.  From there, I will add music and sound effects.

4/4/06 - Below is a table showing the number of Magic and special effects and green screen scene sequences (a sequence is a series of scenes).  The Total column shows how many total sequences are completed.  When there are 0 to do, the movie will move to the sound effects/music stage.  I will try to keep the table up to date.  As you can see, there is still a lot of work to do.


Magic/Fx Sequences

Green Screen Sequences

Total Scene Sequences

To Do


To Do


To Do








Here are some results of the magic effects experimentation.

3/16/06 - Work continues.  Pretty much done with the editing (95% complete).  I am now working on the magic effects.  Still in the learning curve, but after I get up to speed, applying the effects should go quickly.  Still a lot of green screen work to do though.  My target of October 2006 looks like it might have to slip.

2/3/06 - Progress is still steady!  I am about 85% complete with the editing (up to scene 135).  When I start to work on effects, I'll post pictures.

1/5/06 - Progress is steady, I am about 50% through the first cut edit (up to scene 80, there are 160 scenes).  The background noise in many of the takes is terrible (neighbor's kids screaming)!  Too bad they didn't move away earlier. :-)  Made great progress over xmas vacation, got over 60 scenes done!  I can't continue at that rate, but I'm hoping to make steady progress.

For status for the second half of 2005, click here.
For status for the first half of 2005, click here.
For status from April to May 2005, click here.

This page © 2006 by Richard Dunbar